Let me start off by saying that Mrs. G is not a fan of Ina Garten. She finds her annoying and does not watch her show at all. And I’ve gotta say that I agree with her. She’s got the appeal of…..I don’t know….something not appealing. I’ll let you fill that one in. So how Mrs. G ever saw or got her hands on the 1770 House Meatloaf recipe that was featured on one of her shows, I’ll never know. But that’s OK. All I need to know is that it is
good AHH-Mazing! Especially if you take it one step further and smoke it, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
“The 1770 House, built over 200 years ago as a private residence, is now an inn of exceeding comforts and a restaurant of elegance and distinction.” Under Executive Chef Kevin Penner, it has won glowing reviews from the New York Times and Wine Spectator. OK….so not some place I’ll probably ever visit. And not some place you would expect to have a killer meatloaf, but if our rendition of it is half as good as theirs is, it is to die for.
Now, this is not your Mom’s Meatloaf. There is no sticky ketchup or barbecue sauce glaze on top. There’s no thick brown gravy served with it, but rather a light, buttery (is that even a word?) herbed gravy. It doesn’t have breadcrumbs or oats or something acting as a binder, but rather finely ground Panko. And it is filled with fresh herbs (the thyme even came from our garden!) which give it such a wonderful and unique flavor.
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups finely ground Panko (place Panko in food processor to finely grind)
- 2/3 cup whole organic milk
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
- 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or good quality purchased
- 8 to 10 cloves roasted-garlic
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Preheat your smoker or grill to 400 and set it up for an indirect cook. (If cooking in an oven. preheat the to 350 degrees.)
- Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Remove the celery and onion from the pan and let cool. When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
- Using clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan (it should have sides at least 1 1/2 inches high to prevent grease runoff from the pan). Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets. Shape the meat into a loaf (about 14 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide by 2 inches high). Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the broth, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Add 1 teaspoon of each of the chopped thyme, chives and parsley. Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and serve.
We did make a few changes to the recipe, this not being our first time to make it. Obviously, we cooked it on our Egg instead of in the oven. This allows you to add a smokey flavor to the meatloaf. Ground meats DO absorb smoke like a sponge, however, so I would advise going with a light wood, preferably a fruit wood. In this case, we used apple, but cherry would have worked just as well. The original recipe calls for the meatloaf to be cooked at 350F. We’ve found that we have better results when converting an oven recipe over to the Egg if we increase the temperature. 400F on the Egg seems to work best for recipes that call for 350F.
Second, instead of a pound each of ground beef, pork and veal, we opted for 2 lbs of ground beef and one of pork. Often times ground veal can be hard to find, its more expensive and we’ve found that in this recipe it just doesn’t add that much. Ground beef subbed in works fine.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….Always cook your food to temp, not by time. The cook time given in a recipe is a good guide for when the food should be done, but it isn’t always spot on. This recipe called for the meatloaf to be done in 40 to 50 minutes. It took ours 52 minutes to reach 155 (allow for meat to carry over to safe temp while resting). Not to far off, but its better to be safe than sorry (especially if you are cooking something like chicken).
We served the meatloaf with roasted garlic parmesan mashed potatoes, green beans and a roll. All things that just seem to be meant to go together. Although it isn’t classic, this is definitely one of our favorite recipes for meatloaf. And the smokiness added by cooking it on the grill with apple wood just takes it a step farther. If you haven’t tried smoked meatloaf, you really need to. Once you do, you might never cook it again in your oven.
I even brought some with me to work today. Can’t wait till lunchtime….